• Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 5/22/2015

    Hello Team South Kitsap,

    We are pleased with the response to our inaugural Thoughtexchange process. This innovative tool allowed stakeholders to share thoughts when and where it’s most convenient. Our goal was to engage our stakeholders in drafting our strategic plan, goals, and priorities. It is clear from the more than 3,300 participants that our community wants to engage with us.  Please take a moment to browse through the web-site http://skitsap.thoughtexchange.com/. You will see that stakeholders value our quality teachers and staff and how we support and engage all learners. We are also discovering areas we can improve. We will use all we learn to inform our strategic plan for 2020.

    At the Board meeting this week, Olalla and Burley-Glenwood were each honored for being a School of Achievement.  Greg Lynch, the ESD 114 Superintendent presented each school staff with the plaque and banner for each school.   In reviewing the May enrollment, our student numbers continue to remain strong and getting stronger.  As a district, this is the strongest and most stable enrollment trend line we have had in years.  Thank you for all your efforts in shaping this stable positive trend.  This is making a real difference in our fund balance.   A reminder that we are a Policy Governance district and as such review our performance regularly at Board meetings.  As a continuing part of my evaluation, the Board also reviewed Executive Limitation 15 (EL 15) this past week.  Derry Lyons, our SKSD IT Director, presented the updated District Tech Plan.  Please let me know if you have any questions regarding this Executive Limitation or my certification of same.   I am proud of our District IT Team.

    On April 25, the Port Orchard Masonic Lodge honored eighteen educators from South Kitsap School District with Masonic Educator Awards. The honorees were: Robin Ragsdale from Burley Glenwood, Cathy Fay from EPO, Felitia Conley from Hidden Creek, Deanna Buzzell from Manchester, Cappi Burki and Counrtney Kallstrom from Mullenix, Karen Anderson from Olalla, Sarah Simmons and Kimberly Kilpatrick from Orchard Heights, Peter Darraugh from Sidney Glen, Beth Miller from South Colby, Barb McGinley from Sunnyslope, Quinn Avery from Cedar Heights, Cherryl Christman from Sedgwick, Christie Christman from Marcus, Jana Viergutz and Mandy Wood from South Kitsap High, and Jerry Polly from Discovery.  We are blessed to have such outstanding educators serving the children of this great district.  Well done!! 

    What an exciting evening we had on Tuesday.  Due to the generosity of two local community donors, our community will soon have an innovative athletic complex that we can all be proud of. This project would not have been possible without the generosity of Kitsap Bank, represented by Mrs. Helen Langer Smith, Mr. Steve Politakis, and Mr. Tony George; and the Macomber Family represented by Ms. Adele LaCombe, Mr. Ted Macomber and his daughter, and Ms. Jody Banks.  Mr. Tom O’Brien has done an outstanding job researching field turf products and during his presentation outlined the organic product viability.  This will be the first field of its kind in the Northwest.  Mrs. Smith, a 1946 graduate of South Kitsap High School, was endearing in her remembrance of being a cheerleader on that ‘muddy field’ back in the 1940s. It is long past time to have a safe field that we can use twelve months of the year. We are so blessed to have these community project partners.  Thank you

    It is my great pleasure to announce two new administrative appointments for our South Kitsap School District family.  Please join me in congratulating Ms. Anita Chandler, who will be our new Executive Director for Teaching and Learning, and Mr. Robin Christman who will be our new Special Education Department Assistant Director. 

    Anita Chandler has been with the South Kitsap School District for the last ten years, serving as the Principal of Mullenix Ridge Elementary School. Not only has she been a great leader at her building, she’s facilitated several district wide committees and initiatives.  Anita has also been recognized as a distinguished principal for the Peninsula region.  Anita obtained her undergraduate degree from the State University of New York and her Masters of Education from the University of Washington.  Prior to working at Mullenix Ridge, she was both a general education and special education teacher at the elementary and secondary levels.

    Robin Christman has been a Special Education teacher in the South Kitsap School District since 2006.  His work has been primarily with the Community Transition Program, which has experienced tremendous success. Robin started his teaching career as a woodshop and math teacher, and has been in education since 1980.  Prior to his work in the South Kitsap School District, he was the Program Supervisor for Special Education Operations with the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.  Both Robin’s Bachelor of Arts in Education and Master’s Degree in Education Administration are from Central Washington University.  In addition to his work in public education, he’s also taught at the collegiate level and served on various district committees. 

    I am thrilled to welcome two such amazing and innovative leaders to the district administrative team in their new roles.  Please take a moment and welcome them.  Our future is in good hands.  I also want to thank the two interview teams who put in a great deal of effort in moving these selections forward.  Thank you.

    The District English Language Arts (ELA) Task Force was convened this year with teacher representatives from each school site and administrative representatives from each level. The ELA Task Force was charged to review current curriculum and recommend modifications and adoptions based on alignment with Common Core State Standards and literacy best practices. Following a review of many materials, the ELA committee recommended the piloting of three curricula during the 2014-2015 school year. After piloting materials, classroom observations, and a thorough evaluation of each program, the ELA committee unanimously recommended the adoption of Journeys (K-5).    At the sixth grade level and the secondary level, the taskforce recommended that we continue with the current ELA adoption of Springboard (6-10) and Holt (11-12), as the new version of each program has been aligned to the CCSS.    The Task Force developed a professional development plan and presented the draft to the district Professional Development Taskforce for review.  This is a big step forward for our students and staff.  I appreciate all the hard work many of you put in as this decision was made. 

    Finally, I wish each of you the best Memorial Day week-end ever.  I would also ask each of you to pause during the BBQ, and other fun activities we will be having this weekend … to think about and thank those who have served our country so valiantly and remember the many sacrifices made on our behalf. It is so true that we are free because of the brave.  Thank you. 

    Warmest regards,

    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.

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  • Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 5/14/2015

    As the school year draws to a close, we are planning two great annual recognition events. The Celebration of Partnerships recognizes individuals, businesses, and organizations that have made significant contributions to student success and will be held at 5:00 p.m. on May 26 at East Port Orchard Elementary. The Staff Appreciation event recognizes retirees and those with 25 years of educational service and will be held at 5:00 p.m. on June 2 at Marcus Whitman Junior High.  Please join us & celebrate.

    The NJROTC Color Guard and the SKHS Band supported the 2015 NCAA Golf Championships by presenting colors and the national anthem this morning at the Gold Mountain Golf Club in Bremerton.  This was a short-notice event that was requested by the golf course because the active duty Navy color guard originally scheduled was forced to cancel.  The Color Guard was led by Cadet Ensign Kelstrup, accompanied by Cadets Colin Ruane, Joshua Wiggins and Joshua Ray.  The national anthem was performed on trombone, base trombone and snare drum by Kevin Morrison, Connor Fugier and Karl Estes, respectively.  These fine SHKS students and cadets rallied early because they had to be at the golf course by 7:15 to perform at 7:45.  They then returned to school during First Block to resume their studies.  All in a day's work for the Wolves (and one Trailblazer)!  What a great example of Nurturing Growth, Inspiring Achievement, and Building Community.  Well done !!

    In an All- Day Kindergarten Update, the Kindergarten Assessment and Report Card Committee met on Monday.  In their previous meetings, they have made revisions to the report card based on their review of their ADK students’ performance this year.   On Monday, they reviewed the draft of the first grade report card developed by the Assessment Committee and made recommendations for the revised kindergarten report card so that it aligns with the report card for first grade.  Their suggestions will be passed on to the Report Card Committee which will be formed and meeting soon.  

    The Spanish Immersion program at Burley Glenwood has 17 students registered for its first grade program and 21 for its second grade program.  Space is filling up fast.  Please contact Burley Glenwood if you would like to register your first grader for the Spanish Immersion class at Burley Glenwood.  The following link from the Spanish Immersion Program by Minnetonka Public Schools http://vimeo.com/14073214 provides an informative look into what an immersion program entails and how one district in the country has captured the experience.  

    Don’t miss the spring play! The Night I Died at the Palace Theatre is a fast paced, hilarious ‘who-dunnit’ comedy like never before seen at South Kitsap.  The cast blows the roof off the stage with their chemistry and out of this world physical comedy.  Two shows left on Friday, May 15th and Saturday, May 16th at 7:30.  The South Kitsap High School Art Show is on May 15 from 3:00-6:00 p.m. in the common projects area.  This is a great opportunity to view our talented student work. 

    Also, a big thank you to the Kiwanis Club of Port Orchard for recognizing South Kitsap School District students of the month at their May 13 luncheon.  Well done!!

    We recently received a letter from a Navy Corpsmen about a project that was completed in our woods programs, under the direction of teacher Tim Shaffer. Mason Duerre, the student who assisted in the project, is to be commended for his efforts.  Under the able tutelage of Mr. Shaffer, Mason assisted in completing Naval Hospital Bremerton’s “Heroes’ Wall of Honor”.  This memorial means a great deal for all members of the command.  The Wall is dedicated to honor the fifty-seven Corpsmen who were killed supporting Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation New Dawn.  What a great example of building community !!  Well done !!

    South Kitsap School District is working with our community partners, YMCA and Boys & Girls Club, to offer child care options for parents during the teacher walkout on May 20. YMCA will host kids ages 5-12 at East Port Orchard Elementary and Boys & Girls Club will host kids ages 6-12 at Sidney Glen Elementary. More information and contact information is available on our website.  Childcare will be provided free at both sites.  We are so grateful for these strong community partnerships. 

    While I am not thrilled with the decision that SKEA has come to, and I would prefer that they had chosen a different manner in which to express their dissatisfaction with the legislature, I acknowledge their frustration with the legislature and the funding challenges we have all lived with as a result of the legislative gridlock in recent years.  I know we all share the belief that the legislature has fallen short of fully funding our schools and has continued to increase demands around assessment, teacher and principal evaluation, and other program compliance issues.  Clearly, this act of civil disobedience is one borne out of frustration with the situation.  Having said this, I want to again remind you that it is important that we stay positive about our local schools and continue to focus on what is best for our students.  There will be those in the community that will want to divide us, and while we may not all agree on the manner of a walkout, we must stay resolutely and unwaveringly focused on the end game message  --  that the State must fully fund education for our children to thrive.  A colleague has sent the following link http://storiesfromschool.org/walk-out-day-about-voters-not-teachers/  which I think is worth the read.  Like you, I share the belief that a fully supported public education system is the cornerstone of a healthy democracy.   I know the details of how to bridge this ideal with the reality of State funding priorities is challenging; but, we will find a solution.  We must believe …

     Warmest regards,


    Michelle Reid, Ed.D. 

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  • Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 5/8/2015

    On behalf of our Board of Directors and support staff in the district, I proudly join Governor Jay Inslee in recognizing our state’s nearly 60,000 school teachers during our celebration of Teacher Appreciation Week. In particular, I want to recognize our great South Kitsap School District Teachers and Nurses this week.  You make a difference every day by inspiring students to pursue their passions, connect with the world around them, and develop skills for future success.  Thank you for all you do for the students of South Kitsap.  We are a better community because of your efforts. 

    During National Nurses Week and throughout the year, the American Nurses Association (ANA) is proud to celebrate the role nurses play in delivering the highest level of quality care to their patients. The National Nurses Week 2015 theme "Ethical Practice. Quality Care." recognizes the importance of ethics in nursing and acknowledges the strong commitment, compassion and care nurses display in their practice and profession. The theme is an important part of ANA’s 2015 Year of Ethics outreach to promote and advocate for the rights, health and safety of nurses and patients.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=3OuCy-34o68 We salute our South Kitsap School District Nurses for their compassionate service to our students. 

    Recently, the Family and Consumer Science Education (FACSE) Department held their annual breakfast to honor the outstanding senior students of the year.  These young women earned recognition for outstanding achievements both in their FACSE courses as well as their contributions to the school and community.  Department teachers Nancy Fairweather, Susie Nass, Janis Hewitt, and Kris Schweigert continue to be such inspirational models for our students.  Thank you.

    On Saturday April 25th, South Kitsap participated in the 3rd Annual STEM Showcase held at the Kitsap Mall https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XC8fRaqF2wU which was humming with excitement as students and their families experienced over 60 hands-on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) activities.  The West Sound STEM Network had booth participation from several school districts, businesses, government and non-profits throughout Kitsap County.  The goal of the STEM Showcase is to present STEM applications and careers in fun and engaging ways to spark interest and show relevancy from what students are learning in school to the real world.  South Kitsap was well represented!  South Kitsap High School teacher, Bev Painter, provided students the opportunity to explore STEM in space in the planetarium; CTE Video teacher, Mike Downum, and a team of outstanding  students displayed STEM and integration of the arts - and Family and Consumer Science teacher, Susie Nass, provided students the opportunity to see the STEM integration in the field of Culinary Arts. From John Sedgwick, Jeff Winn, showcased and involved students in STEM related to the construction trades and Tom Schmuck allowed students to explore engineering by constructing ROV’s (Remotely Operated Vehicles).  South Colby teachers, Steve Kaio-Maddox, Roberta Kaio-Maddox, Katie Million, and Donna Hollon engaged participants in a variety of team engineering challenges.  Mullinex Ridge teachers, Ryan Manning, Alycia Holt and Catharine Burki allowed participants to engage in a sugar cube engineering architecture design challenge.  Truly an innovative approach to student engagement.  Well done !!

    An inspiration on and off the field, Seattle Seahawk Richard Sherman, made a surprise visit to Cedar Heights Junior High this morning.  Most students and staff members did not know he was coming and the gymnasium exploded in applause and excitement as he walked in the venue. Mr. Sherman spoke at the school’s motivational assembly, “It Takes Courage to be Great!”, about overcoming childhood adversity and having the courage and perseverance to keep trying even when the odds are stacked against you. He fielded questions from students in the audience; you can check in at Visit to Cedar Heights .  Mr. Sherman took time after the assembly to meet with six students who are struggling academically by talking with the students individually about their challenges and giving advice on how to overcome these and meet their goals. Richard Sherman and his family foundation, Blanket Coverage, have chosen to work in partnership with students and schools to help students grow in some aspect of their education. The selected students signed a contract that will serve as a tool to monitor progress on benchmark goals such as attendance, behavior, and academics.  We sincerely thank Richard Sherman for taking the time to visit Cedar Heights and make a difference for the students in our community. 

    We are pleased with the response to our initial Thoughtexchange process. This innovative tool allowed stakeholders to share thoughts when and where it’s most convenient. Our goal was to engage our stakeholders in drafting our strategic plan, goals, and priorities. It is clear from the more than 3,300 participants that our community wants to engage with us.  Please take a moment to browse through the web-site http://skitsap.thoughtexchange.com/. You will see that stakeholders value our quality teachers and staff and how we support and engage all learners. We are also discovering areas we can improve. We will use all we learn to inform our strategic plan for 2020.

    Parent representatives from the Boundary Review Committee presented the recommendations of the Boundary Review Committee to the Board at the Board meeting on Tuesday evening. Essentially, the recommendations are: 1) Reconfigure the grade distribution to grades K-5 elementary schools, grades 6-8 middle schools and grades 9-12 high school as soon as the 2016-17 school year, but no later than the 2017-18 school year.  2) Beginning with the 2015-16 school year move Wye Lake from Sunnyslope to Burley Glenwood;  3)  Maintain current open enrollment policy with the following change to specifying that open enrollment requests for students of employees that work at the school take priority over space; and 4) Reconvene the Boundary Committee at the time grade reconfiguration is planned to be implemented, but no later than 2017-18.  A final decision on these proposals will be made later this month.  Please provide me any feedback you think might be helpful at this juncture. 

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! Because of the generosity of our students, staff and community members, over 8,700 pounds of food and $700 were donated on Saturday to the South Kitsap Helpline.  This was over 4,000 pounds more than any previous year.  South Colby was the individual school winner.  Way to go Bobcats and all !  

    A reminder that we are a Policy Governance district and as such review our performance regularly at Board meetings.  As a continuing part of my evaluation, the Board reviewed Executive Limitation 14 (EL 14) this past week.  Please let me know if you have any questions regarding this Executive Limitation or my certification of same.  

    Finally, I trust that each of you will have a wonderful rest of the week and joyful week-end.  Happy Mother’s Day to all of you who this holiday honors.

    Warmest regards,

    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.

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  • Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 4/30/2015

    What a fantastic week !!  It is really starting to feel a great deal like spring out there.  The birds are chirping wildly and the squirrels are scampering …

    The South Kitsap High School’s DECA chapter brought two teams to the DECA International Career Development Conference to compete in the Virtual Restaurant World Championships. Both teams earned their way to the semi-finals by winning the Western Region earlier this year. Payton Swinford, who was a one man team, finished in 5th place. Kiera Cline, Nick Matheson and Talia Fazio also reached the final round and finished 7th.  The teams received great coaching and mentoring from Mr. Sean Duttry.

    Olalla Elementary recently used a school landscaping project as a creative learning opportunity for students. Classrooms located on the backside of Olalla Elementary had an unsightly dirt and gravel area as the view from their windows. The lack of landscaping created intense sun glare in classroom windows and also caused students to track in dirt and dust. Several goals of the project were: 1) Create shade to lessen the heat in the classrooms; and 2) Add to student learning through STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) opportunities. The plan for the landscaped area is to provide opportunities for students to be involved in the planning of the landscaping (engineering and math), to observe a natural setting for their science studies, and to use the area as a place to write or draw.  On April 22, Earth Day, students, staff, and volunteers worked together planting the area. A community work party was held on April 25 to spread bark around the plantings. A celebratory ribbon cutting ceremony was held on April 27 in front of the student body, staff members and district administration. The project was completely funded by the Olalla PTA and donations from community members, Morrison Gravel, Lowes, and Home Depot.  What a great example of nurturing growth and building community.  Well done!!

    We have had another fantastic member of our teaching family in the spotlight Kitsap Sun teacher spotlight, Alaura Titus from Cedar Heights .  Thank you for all your efforts to bring language arts and social studies to life for our junior high students.  Well done!!

    The Boundary Review Committee has its final meeting tonight. The purpose of this meeting is to prepare the presentation of its recommendation to the School Board at the May 5, 2015 Board meeting.  They will be selecting spokespersons and identifying key points to be made to the board about each of the components of the recommendation. 

    In planning for the coming year and wanting to be responsive to multiple requests for clarity in the district office organizational chart, I am sharing the district office organizational chart slated for the upcoming year.  We have had several folks take a comprehensive look at the support work we need to provide our schools.  Two different folks independently interviewed all current teaching and learning department and educational services department staff members as to their roles and responsibilities.  Several possible structures for the organizational structure were studied and reviewed.  At the end of the day, the proposed structure best meets the needs of students and staff.  A clear separation between the teaching and learning functions and the school and family support functions has been delineated.  As folks are hired and these positions are filled, I will get back to you with a more complete listing of the roles and responsibilities of each individual in the chart.  For the short term, the grey box below each of the three major areas of the district summarizes at the macro level the requisite accountability of each area.  Please feel free to contact me with any questions or ideas you have.

    On the testing front, South Kitsap students have COMPLETED 4066 separate Smarter Balanced summative assessments during the month of April.  Each student grades 3-8 and 11 will complete four Smarter Balanced summative assessments – two each for English Language Arts and Mathematics - by the end of the school year. Students in Grade 10 will complete two Smarter Balanced summative English Language Arts assessments.  Students in grades 5 and 8 will additionally complete a Measurement of Student Progress-Science.  Students in grades 9-12 who have not yet met standard in Biology, Algebra, and Geometry will complete End of Course (EOC) exams in those subjects by the end of the school year.  And the beat goes on…  Thank you all for your conscientious attention to our student needs !!

    Three South Kitsap High School music groups competed last weekend at Central Washington University in multiple areas.  Karl Estes and Ryen Lee received a Superior Rating in the multiple percussion category.  The South Kitsap Percussion Ensemble competed in the large group percussion category and also received a Superior Rating.

    Both these teams performed flawlessly on their pieces proudly representing their school and school district.  Special congratulations go to the Trombone Trio of Kevin Morrison, Cloe Meyers, and Conner Fugier who took FIRST PLACE in the Small Brass Ensemble Division.  They performed two pieces; the first being a work written by Anton Bruckner, the composer of numerous symphonies and large orchestral works.  Their insightful and professional interpretation wowed the adjudicators and audience alike.  Also, hearty congratulations are in order to Mr. Gary Grams, our intrepid SKHS Band Director, for giving so much to these and all his students.  Without his unwavering support and high expectations based on his resolute belief in his students, this level of performance would not be possible. 

    As we begin summer planning (I know it seems too soon to have this conversation), we are beginning the draft of our August Important Dates Calendar.  If you have items of importance, please be sure to check this calendar as we get closer to school starting. 

    Warmest regards,

    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.

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  • Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 4/23/2015

    What another great week !!  Students and staff continue to labor industriously on the State mandated tests.  We will prevail as a result of our hard work. 

    The Boundary Review Committee meets tonight at 6:00pm at John Sedgwick Junior High. The focus of the committee’s work tonight will be to finalize its recommendation to the Board.  We are so grateful to this group of staff and community members for their focused and diligent work. 

    As all of us have been watching our State Legislature as it sets the educational priorities for our State, it is not lost on us that major initiatives hang in the balance.  One of these is all-day kindergarten and rather or not we will be able to cover the costs for all children in all ten schools in the coming school year here in the South Kitsap School District.  In looking at the current proposed Senate and House budget proposals, it appears that all-day kindergarten is slated for almost full funding for our district.  In other words, staff have calculated that if the funding slated comes through, all but two of our ten schools will be fully funded by the State.  The pivot tables (proposed legislative budget impact numbers) have been studied; and as a result, I am confident in recommending to the Board that we move forward and fully fund all schools for all-day kindergarten for the coming 2015-16 academic year.  I believe that while there is some risk in making this decision prior to the final legislative gavel, I think every day we delay this decision, parents in our community are making plans for their children for the coming year and we want them to choose our amazing schools.  Our community families can count on us to be thoughtful in our deliberations and whenever and wherever possible timely in our communication.  We also plan to offer one half day kindergarten session at one site in the district for those families who would prefer to have their kindergartner attend only a half day program as we believe choice is important for today’s families.  We are looking forward to great things for our upcoming Class of 2028!! Please let me know if you have any questions. 

    In other Team Kindergarten news, the Kindergarten Assessment and Report Card Committee had its first meeting on Monday. The committee is charged with the task of making revisions to the kindergarten report card and also to the kindergarten assessments.  They will be reviewing both the report card and the assessments within the context of the progress being made by all-day kindergarten students, the new ELA proposed adoption, Journeys, and the math curriculum, Envisions in alignment with the recommendations of the Assessment committee.  The next committee meeting is May 4.

    Renata Durst, teacher from Cedar Heights, and Amy Miller, Communication Specialist, accompanied a group of enthusiastic students to We Day at Seattle Center today. We Day is a movement to inspire and empower young people to find their passion and create the change they want to see locally and globally. The event brings together world renowned speakers and performers with international activists to share their passion for change and energize the crowd with unforgettable performances and motivational speeches. We Day is connected to the year-long We Act program, which provides educational resources and campaigns to help young people turn inspiration into sustained action. Visit www.weday.org for more information.  I look forward to more and more students participating in this incredible event.  It is so inspiring to think of moving away from a Me Generation to a We Generation…

    In reviewing the April enrollment, our student numbers continue to remain strong.  As a district, this is the strongest and most stable enrollment trend line we have had in years.  Thank you for all your efforts in shaping this stable positive trend.  This is making a real difference in our fund balance.   A reminder that we are a Policy Governance district and as such review our performance regularly at Board meetings.  As a continuing part of my evaluation, the Board also reviewed Executive Limitation 5 (EL 5) and Executive Limitation 6 (EL6) this past week.  Please let me know if you have any questions regarding this Executive Limitation or my certification of same. 

    Spots are filling up for the 2015-16 first grade Spanish Immersion program at Burley Glenwood Elementary.  The students in this year’s Spanish Immersion program will move on to the second grade Spanish Immersion program.  As our elementary enrollment continues to climb, it is more important than last year to get registration forms in soon to secure a place in the program for the upcoming year as there are limited student spots.  The following link from the Spanish Immersion Program by Minnetonka Public Schools http://vimeo.com/14073214 provides an informative look into what an immersion program entails and how one district in the country has captured the experience.  Central to the South Kitsap Spanish Immersion Program is the knowledge that we are preparing our students for a vastly different future and world than in the past and even the present. Creative, inquisitive and innovative thinking integrated with collaborative, communicative, compassionate and global minded attributes are the components of successful citizenship in the 21st Century. 

    At our recent Board meeting at Olalla Elementary School, students from several classes demonstrated their STEM prowess.  It is so inspiring to have children as young as second grade explain scientific principles usually taught in the middle grades or later.  Fourth and fifth grade students from Ms. Sherburn’s class described the concepts of potential and kinetic energy and the resultant forces on elastic and inelastic collisions.  Members of the School Board had the tables turned on them as the students asked them questions about the collision concepts and insisted that the Board members answering “Explain their thinking”.  It was a great night and a wonderful presentation of the incredible work going on at Olalla with their implementation of Project Lead the Way.  Kudos to the Olalla staff, and also to Sara Hatfield and our district Career and Technical Department, as well as Derry Lyons and our intrepid IT Department for supporting this innovative project.  Well done. 

    Finally, a staff member recently sent me this thoughtful communication regarding state testing.   In the letter, the teacher touches on some fundamental topics important to all of us as educators.  It also illustrates that every child is more than a test score and every school is more than a test score.  Another provocative topic for PLC discussion.... 

    Warmest regards,

     

    Michelle Reid, Ed.D. 

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  • Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 4/16/2015

    What another fantastic week in this great community !!  I so appreciate all the focused attention during this challenging state assessment season.  Our staff and student team is to be commended for their resolute dedication to make this state accountability process work.  Thank you. 

    This evening, our school district hosted our first ever Chamber of Commerce After Hours reception for the community.  I want to express my sincere gratitude to all the staff that provided materials and displays, prepared the food and punch, took time from their busy lives to attend and share the great story of this innovative district, and otherwise support this important community partnership.   Thank you.  A special thank you to Amy Miller, District Communications Specialist for coordinating the event. 

    I am proud to announce that Burley Glenwood Elementary and Olalla Elementary were recently recognized by State Superintendent Randy Dorn and State Board of Education Chair Isabel Muñoz-Colón as two of Washington State’s top-performing schools. The Washington Achievement Award is sponsored by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction and the State Board of Education. Award winners are the highest performing schools in the state based on three years of academic information reported in the Washington Achievement Index.  Well done. 

    The South Kitsap High School Marching Band https://youtu.be/6ImShZLwwrk had the privilege of marching in the 2015 Cherry Blossom Parade in Washington D.C. this past weekend.  Besides being able to march in front of the White House, local and foreign dignitaries, and an audience from around the world they demonstrated an understanding of the sacrifices many have made to our country; especially our veterans.  While touring the memorials around the area they stopped at the Marine Corp Iwo Jima site.  At the site a group of World War II and Korean War vets where also sharing the experience as a part of a program for aging veterans.  The veterans were in their “red coats” and wheel chairs. Without any prompting by adults, one of the band students went up to them to shake their hands and say “thank you for your service”.  The rest followed suit which resulted in a group picture with the aging soldiers, sailors, and marines. The faces on these proud service men showed what was in their hearts, “Young people do care about what we did. They remember us”.  This small act of kindness demonstrated the compassion and caring nature of our South Kitsap students.  This “educational experience” beyond the walls of the classroom changed people’s lives and constitutes one of the highest level of academic rigor.  We are so proud of them !!SK Marching Band 2015 Cherry Blossom Parade DC

    At tonight’s Boundary Committee meeting the committee addressed questions that may have been generated in regard to the committee’s decision to make classroom and program space the number one priority for approving open enrollment requests.  The committee will then work toward finalization of any revisions to the initial recommendation. They are looking specifically at Mullenix Ridge, Orchard Heights, Sidney Glen and Sunnyslope.

    The District Professional Development Committee, chaired by John Sedgwick Principal Jay Villars, has determined that we will offer a Summer Institute August 17th  through the 21st.  Professional Development will be offered to support our various district initiatives. Topics will include but not be limited to STEM, Highly Capable, International Baccalaureate, Assessment, Math, Science and English Language Arts. Currently, we are meeting with committees to collect their requests. We have a  great deal of important work ahead of us. We are excited to be able to offer quality professional development to our staff and assist them in meeting these new challenges.  It matters.  It also enables us to provide high support for the high expectations we hold for teaching and learning in our district.  More information to come on this important topic. 

    Our SKHS Dance Team and the Cedar Heights Dance Team travelled to the American Showcase National Competition in Anaheim, CA. SKHS took first place and the title of National Champions in Varsity Hip Hop, Varsity Pom and Varsity Jazz. The team from Cedar took first place in Junior High Pom. Well done. 

    This week our district was approved to become a WSIPC/Skyward “District Data Center”.  Instead of contracting with the ESD for Skyward support services and training, we will be using those funds to increase the support staff (think more Cindi Robinsons!) and save several thousand dollars per year. With the two additional support staff (one for Student and one for HR/Fiscal), we will be able to provide more frequent training, timely support and faster escalation of issues to WSIPC.  There will be some changes over the summer, and you can keep up to date on the progress at http://www.skitsap.wednet.edu/skyward - the DDC Migration section includes some questions and answers along with the schedule of events.  Derry Lyons, Tracy Patterson, and Misty Dieffenbach will be the leads on this transition project. 

    And so, I recently received an interesting article about Finland's change in direction in regards to educating its children. It talks about subjects being scrapped and replaced with 'topics' as the country continues to reform its education system.  Again, I think it is a provocative and reflective article… http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/finland-schools-subjects-are-out-and-topics-are-in-as-country-reforms-its-education-system-10123911.html

    Warmest regards,

     Michelle Reid, Ed.D. 

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  • Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 4/9/2015

    Wow, what a great week.  It is so good to be back in the schools after a week away.  I know that the assessment season is upon us and want to reiterate how much I appreciate how hard all of you are working to make this a successful experience for our students.  Thank you. 

    At tonight’s Boundary Committee meeting the committee received information regarding the Highly Capable Committee’s recommendation which is effective for the 2015-16 school year as well as information regarding the recommendations of the Special Education Location Committee to be implemented following a significant boundary change within the district or following a district grade reconfiguration. The committee also revisited the district’s open enrollment policy and procedures. Finally, the committee will review specific areas of the initial recommendation within the context of feedback received thus far and plans to continue this discussion next week. 

    Recently, East Port Orchard (EPO) Elementary student, Alexis Kuiphoff contacted Star 101.5 radio to nominate her teacher for Teacher of the Week. The radio station surprised Mr. Johnson’s third grade class with a visit today and impromptu classroom party. Ronald McDonald and the Washington Dairy princess accompanied representatives from the Star 101.5 radio and KOMO4 news and presented the class with souvenir t-shirts and goody bags. Mr. Johnson was presented with a recognition plaque and $100 check for his classroom use.  We are so proud of his accomplishments and join in with the staff at East Port Orchard in celebrating this well earned recognition.  Another EPO staff member, librarian Heather Wilson, was recently in the news along with her daughters in a fascinating project that encourages our students to continue to read http://www.kitsapsun.com/lifestyle/books/bookworm-sisters-invite-you-to-follow-the-readers_10220785  . 

    In reviewing the March enrollment, our student numbers continue to remain strong.  As a district, this is the strongest and most stable enrollment trend line we have had in years.  Thank you for all your efforts in shaping this stable positive trend. 

    During the Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce luncheon on April 9, two outstanding South Kitsap educators were recognized in the first Star Staff Award ceremony. Classified and certificated staff members throughout the school district are nominated by their peers or supervisor based on their work in four categories: Team Work, Innovation, Job Performance, and Student Connection/Engagement. The awards are given quarterly at the Chamber of Commerce luncheon and are accompanied by a certificate of recognition and gift cards from Chamber businesses. Carey Ensign, nominated by Mullenix Ridge Elementary School Principal Anita Chandler, received the award for Classified Star Staff Member and Kim Austin-Ellis, nominated by Hidden Creek Principal Laura Smith, received the Certificated Star Staff Award.  Please join me in celebrating their well-deserved recognition.  Kathleen Wilson, a Chamber of Commerce Board member, presented the plaques to our honored staff. 

    The Kitsap Sun also spotlighted two teachers recently.  Romney Beck, from South Kitsap High School http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/local-news/teacher-spotlight-romny-beck-south-kitsap-high-school_42447437 and Kim Ness from Orchard Heights http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/teacher-spotlight-kim-ness_43495151

    We are continuing to accept applications for the 2015-16 first grade Spanish Immersion program at Burley Glenwood Elementary.  The students in this year’s Spanish Immersion program will move on to the second grade Spanish Immersion program.  As our elementary enrollment continues to climb, it is more important than last year to get registration forms in soon to secure a place in the program for the upcoming year as there are limited student spots.  The following link from the Spanish Immersion Program by Minnetonka Public Schools http://vimeo.com/14073214 provides an informative look into what an immersion program entails and how one district in the country has captured the experience.  Central to the South Kitsap Spanish Immersion Program is the knowledge that we are preparing our students for a vastly different future and world than in the past and even the present. Creative, inquisitive and innovative thinking integrated with collaborative, communicative, compassionate and global minded attributes are the components of successful citizenship in the 21st Century. 

    As many of you know, the Highly Capable Task Force recently presented their recommendations for the future of our South Kitsap School District Highly Capable Program.  Following this recommendation, the committee is continuing to work hard to implement the recommendations for the coming year.  After a great deal of careful deliberation, the decision to site the highly capable program has been made and communicated to the staff of the school that will be hosting the program.  Orchard Heights Elementary School is the new home to our Highly Capable Program.  The factors influencing this decision are primarily the available classroom space, expansive square footage of common areas, and the central location for transportation that will support a district magnet program. 

    Finally, at this afternoon’s Innovative Program Task Force meeting, we discussed the topic of school start times.  While it may not seem overly innovative, the amount of sleep that adolescents receive is a factor in adolescent health and capacity to learn.  The start times at the secondary level were the focus of the conversation today and likely will continue as we move forward.  Please feel free to share any thoughts you might have on this topic with members of the Innovative Task Force. 

    Warmest regards,

    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.

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  • Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 4/2/2015

    And so, we are enjoying a restful and renewing spring break.  We are so blessed to live in such a beautiful part of the country!!  I trust that each of you are enjoying a well deserved bit of time away and that each of you have the opportunity for rest and reflection.  

    In our Transportation Department this week, we just finished our Washington State Patrol summer inspection.  Ninety nine buses and thirteen support vehicles were inspected. Only one bus was placed out of service (it has since been repaired and placed back in service).  During the out brief the inspector said for a fleet our size and age that these results were “amazing.” We are so blessed to have such incredible mechanics, shop staff, and transportation staff. Well done!!

    Our Facilities Department staff have been busy as well this week.  There will be many classrooms with new carpet when staff and students return from the holiday week.  Thank you and well done!!

    The legislature continues to work on State budget challenges and commitments made to public education.  We continue to follow this work and expect that the commitments made will be kept.  

    I look forward to seeing each of you as we return following this spring break.  There is yet much to do before our current academic year is done.  

    Warmest regards,

     

    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.
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  • Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 3/26/2015
    Wow, what a great week !!  Unbelievable that it is our last week prior to Spring Break.  I just returned from watching our Lady Wolves Tennis Team fiercely battling Timberline High School.  What a beautiful afternoon for a tennis match !! 

    I know these conference weeks require so much planning and preparation and are so crucial to the family partnerships we forge to support our students; all of them – no exceptions.  Thank you for the extra time and effort each of you provide to make these successful. 

    Our March enrollment report continues to trend better than budget and significantly better than last year.  This continues to be strong and stable sign for us as a district. As a district, this is the strongest and most stable enrollment trend line we have had in years.  Thank you for all your efforts in shaping this stable positive trend. 

    On the agenda at tonight’s boundary meeting, we will be reviewing the feedback from the two forums and that has been emailed to us.  The committee will also receive information regarding the recommendation from the Highly Capable Committee and on estimated costs of the roll up of the ninth graders to the high school. Within the context of all of this information, the committee will review specific areas of the elementary boundary recommendation. Olalla, Orchard Heights and Sidney Glen are three areas that will be reviewed as well as any other areas that emerged from the feedback.  The committee will then make any revisions they deem appropriate based on the information that was reviewed and finalize the recommendation that will be submitted for further public feedback.

    South Kitsap School District was well represented at the 2015 Kitsap County Youth Rally for Human Rights with 57 students in attendance. The theme was “the heart of the community is …you”   Members of Builders of Unity from the high school,  GSA and Sign choir from the high school and One World Club from Sedgwick and Builders of Unity from Marcus participated and led in this all-day event.  Builders of Unity from the high school led a workshop on stereo typing called “Head Games”  and conducted  the closing ceremonies.

    South Kitsap School District is pleased to announce a partnership with the Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce to recognize Star Staff Members. Each quarter, a certificated and classified staff member will be invited to attend the Chamber of Commerce luncheon and be recognized for their hard work and dedication to the district. Nominations may be submitted STAR STAFF Nomination Form by peers or supervisors. The first recognition will take place at the Chamber Luncheon on April 9 and the deadline for nominations is Friday, March 27, 2015.

    Orchard Heights’ Destination Imagination Team took 3rd place at their competition held at Klahowya Secondary School. Our Destination Imagination team consisted of the following students: Grace Jacobson, Alec Perry, Jaiden Carroll, Jack Bernstein and Zachary Hovland. 6th Grade boys — Shannon Macomber, Alexander Herbst and Daultan Lynam took 5th place. Destination Imagination is led by Mrs. Ann Braunstein. Orchard Heights represented the South Kitsap School District. Students were presented their awards by U.S. Representative Derek Kilmer. Congratulations to all!!   

    Mr. Tom O’Loughlin, Marcus Whitman Junior High School teacher, reports that several Marcus Whitman Junior High Quest students placed at the Regional History Day contest at Olympic College on Monday and will compete at the State contest on May 2 at Green River Community College. The History Day theme this year is “Leadership and Legacy in History.”  Six of the eight who advanced haven’t advanced in the contest before. We are proud of all the students who competed. 

    In a history making event at the South Kitsap High School Pool, the Lady Wolves got their first ever water polo win with a 19-7 win over Foss.  Leading the team was Aubrey Lash with 5 goals, the first coming within the first 15 seconds of the game.  Emma Brown scored 3, Kaitlyn Chayer, Natalie Posadas, Danicka Moe and Mackenzie Collopy scored two goals each, Talia Fazio, Lilya Jaeren, and Emmy Hoeiseth all scored one apiece.  It was a great game by all! Congrats, Lady Wolves!   

    We are continuing to accept applications for the 2015-16 first grade Spanish Immersion program at Burley Glenwood Elementary.  The students in this year’s Spanish Immersion program will move on to the second grade Spanish Immersion program.  “Wherever we are, whatever our line of work, we are affected by nearly everything else that’s happening in the world….Society should be prepared to communicate and do business across international boundaries….Community, business and civic leaders increasingly will build relationships with counterparts in other nations.” Gary Marx, Sixteen Trends.   The following link from the Spanish Immersion Program by Minnetonka Public Schools http://vimeo.com/14073214 provides an informative look into what an immersion program entails and how one district in the country has captured the experience.  Central to the South Kitsap Spanish Immersion Program is the knowledge that we are preparing our students for a vastly different future and world than in the past and even the present. Creative, inquisitive and innovative thinking integrated with collaborative, communicative, compassionate and global minded attributes are the components of successful citizenship in the 21st Century. 

    Please enjoy a restful and blessed Spring Break. 

    Warmest regards,

    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.

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  • Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 3/19/2015

    What another great week !!  Concerts, talent shows and dramatic productions are occurring all over the district.  The spring sports season is well under way and March Madness is permeating the country.  What a great time to be in education and supporting our next generation.  And, yes, parent conferences just around the corner…

    We had a very successful Boundary Review Forum Wednesday night at Cedar Heights.  Our final community forum was tonight at John Sedgwick at 6:00pm.  The community members on the committee who presented the recommendation did an awesome job.   The leadership team and staff provided strong support for these challenging conversations.  I am so impressed with the collegial nature of these conversations.  There is no limit to the good we can do when we come together as a community. 

    It is bittersweet that I announce several administrative changes in our district.  Mr. Josh Emmons, our current Assistant Principal at Cedar Heights, has just accepted the position of Principal at Poulsbo Middle School in the North Kitsap School District.  While we are enormously proud of Josh’s accomplishments, we are also sad to see him head north. Mr. Mark Gudger, formerly an administrative intern at Cedar Heights, has accepted the interim Assistant Principal position at Orchard Heights for the remainder of the year.  Please join me in congratulating these two gentlemen as they continue in these new chapters of their careers.  We are better for their service. 

    The Highly Capable Task Force brought their Report and recommendation to the Board this past week.  The thirty seven member team, led by Ms. Kris Christenberry, Marcus Whitman Junior High Assistant Principal,  has spent the last year researching best practice in highly capable programming and has had many robust debates as they came to consensus.  Program delivery model research was reviewed and program survey results collected and discussed. These recommendations will dramatically change the manner in which we serve our elementary highly capable students.  With the advent of new State legislation, these changes were necessary to comply with statutory expectations.  I am proud of the hard work and dedication that members of this committee demonstrated in making the courageous recommendation for program change.  We all know change isn’t easy; yet, I appreciate the thoughtfulness in this work.  We remain resolute in providing the best educational experience for each child – no exceptions.

    Earlier this week, twenty high school students from around Washington State participated in the August Wilson Monologue Competition.  It was an amazing night of young actors performing the words of America’s greatest African American playwright.  Of the twenty students statewide, seven of them were from South Kitsap!!!  From Mr. Scott Yingling; “The opportunity to see our young people on a professional stage, in front of hundreds of people, made me proud to be an educator and even more proud to be from South Kitsap.  It was very entertaining to hear people all night say, ‘Where is Port Orchard?  I thought it was a little farming community!’”  One of our senior’s, Noah Skillman, took 2nd place overall and will be representing our area in New York City in May.  He will have the opportunity to compete against the best and most talented young actors from L.A., Chicago, Boston, Pittsburgh, New York, Atlanta, and Portland.  It is a three day trip that includes Broadway shows, professional acting workshops, and he will be performing on Broadway at the August Wilson Theatre.  We are so proud of all our actors that participated and their hard work.  Here is a list of all that competed; Cannon Jones, Emmilee Lambert, Morgen Bailey, Casey Alvestad, Riley Allen, and Kaylie Brown.  If you see these young people or have them in class, please congratulate them on this huge accomplishment.  Another great example of dedication to the pursuit of excellence on the part of our teachers and students.  GO SK !!

    A reminder that we are a Policy Governance district and as such review our performance regularly at Board meetings.  As a continuing part of my evaluation, the Board also reviewed Executive Limitation 8 (EL 8) this past week.  Given the budget challenges in recent years, this is a particularly important Executive Limitation for monitoring purposes.  Please let me know if you have any questions regarding this Executive Limitation or my certification of same. 

    This past Friday evening, the high school science department held a very successful Science Fair.  These are pictures from the Science Extravaganza.  The South Kitsap High School Science Department estimated that about three hundred people showed up for the event. Students from Astronomy, AP Physics, Honors Biology, Integrated and Marine Science were involved.  It was a fantastic evening and really showcased our incredibly capable  and innovative students.  Thank you to the SKHS Science Department staff for supporting this important work.  It matters. 

    Finally, a staff member recently sent me this provocative article http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2015/03/reinventing-high-school/387190/ on an interesting approach to the high school experience.  This illustrates several of the tenets that the Innovative Program Task Force has wrestled with over the past two years. 

     Enjoy a great almost spring week-end,

     

    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.

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